19 June 2009

Iran: Friday Opposition Events

News about Friday's events in Iran have been in something of a flux: it looks as though someone has been sending misleading information about the opposition leaders' plans for Fridays. Mir-Hossein Mousavi's website appears to have been hacked earlier today, and someone has been tweeting and retweeting misinformation over Twitter. The best I can ascertain :
People should attend Friday prayers.
All rallies have been postponed until Saturday, 4:00 pm (I'll post more later).
There seems to be a consensus about no Friday rallies. For information on Friday prayers, I've relied on reliable Tweeters as well as news sources that excel at vetting information, such as NiacINsight (a blog for the Iranian-American community) and Nico Pitney at The Huffington Post. See the following posts on Friday prayers:

From NIAC:
6:32 pm: What’s going on here?

Earlier in the day, we saw a message posted on Mousavi’s facebook page saying “Mousavi & Karoubi ask supporters NOT to attend Friday prayers (which is being delivered by supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei).” We thought this was strange, since they were saying exactly the opposite just a little while ago. Now, Nico and the NYT both have commented about the same message going up on Twitter. [ed: NYT only posted the Tweeted message. No commentary]

Just as we were trying to figure out what was going on on Mousavi’s facebook page, the message was removed. This appears to be an organized attack on Mousavi and Karroubi’s facebook and twitter accounts to send misleading messages to supporters. We got the impression that they were trying to take these messages down as fast as possible, so we are pretty convinced they’re not legitimate.
And from Pitney at HuffPo:
5:58 PM ET -- Fishy. This was just posted on Mousavi's official Twitter account. "Mousavi & Karoubi ask supporters NOT to attend Friday prayers (which is being delivered by supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei)." This seems quite unlikely to me, trying to get to the bottom of it.

Update: Patrick Disney from the NIAC says this message was also posted on Mousavi's Facebook page and then removed a little later. Seems like someone outside is trying to cause trouble.
Like I said, the message that Pitney posts has been tweeted and retweeted all night long, and it seems to have overwhelmed messages noting that Mousavi's sites have been hacked.

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